Dr Debby Banham (Birkbeck and Cambridge) 
Maximum: 12 students
Venue: Senate House

 If you are keen to find out more about Old English palaeography, then this is the course for you. We shall trace the development of writing in English from the very earliest specimens to the ‘transitional’ scripts of the twelfth century, looking at some well-known and less familiar examples, and we shall spend plenty of time on reading practice. Letters and abbreviations specific to Old English will be explained, and distinguished from the features of the different scripts they are used in. Suitable for anyone who already has some experience of English vernacular palaeography.


Julian Brown, A Palaeographer’s View (Harvey Miller, 1993)
Michelle Brown, Anglo-Saxon Manuscripts (British Library, 1991)
Michelle Brown, Manuscripts from the Anglo-Saxon Age (British Library, 2007)
Michelle Brown, A Guide to Western Historical Scripts (British Library, 1990)
Gale Owen-Crocker, ed., Working with Anglo-Saxon Manuscripts (Exeter UP, 2009)
Mary P. Richards, ed., Anglo-Saxon Manuscripts: Basic Readings (Routledge, 1994)
Jane Roberts, Guide to Scripts used in English Writings up to 1500 (British Library, 2005)
Alex Rumble, ed., Writing and Texts in Anglo-Saxon England (D. S. Brewer, 2006)
Donald Scragg, A Conspectus of Scribal Hands Writing English, 960–1100 (D. S. Brewer, 2012)
Peter Stokes, English Vernacular Minuscule from Æthelred to Cnut, c. 990 - c. 1035 (D. S. Brewer, 2014)

Student Comments

Excellent coverage of a wide range of materials, with a constant theme running throughout.

I liked the very detailed and structured description of each script with plenty of examples and enough time for each text.